This goal is super lofty and honestly I don’t know how I thought I could achieve this – I know I am a professional overachiever but even this shocks me.
- Plot out one script with stage directions, costume themes, set design, sound/music
I don’t even know what show I would pick and plan. At this point, it’s a cross between my ‘hot flash,’ wants – those shows that come back into your periphial or hit you straight on and you don’t know if you really *always* wanted to do it or if just because it flashed in front of you you want to do it.
That’d be Mamma Mia! for me. To be honest, a pretty terrible show in the sense that you do need a full sized stage to really pull it off but I found myself envisioning it how it would fit in the block box theatre that I love. My local little, small budget broadway. Here’s some ideas —
- An extremely strong Greek chorus (ensemble) –
for me, I would have to give leeway to my musical director almost entirely to ensure that they had everything and everyone that they would want and need for this music
- A movable set
there are too many different and paramount scenes in the show that it’s hard to imagine pulling it off without some sort of mobility. That’s usually a trial in my theatre because we typically don’t have a large production staff and, as we all know, actors are sometimes wrapped up in their own needs and forget about props and my fear is they’d also forget to move a set backdrop.
So far, is this too picky? Perhaps – but these are thoughts that are of the utmost important to consider when putting on such a drama heavy show. It would have to be flawless – the ensemble and set(s) require near perfection.
Let me focus on the set and the ideas I have for multiple mobile sets.
–>The show is set in Greece, right? The island where Aphrodite’s fountain is said to have resided. The theatres walls would have to be painted white, almost blindingly white, all the way up to the ceiling (or as close as us 5’6″ girls can reach on a 6 foot ladder – maybe 12′ total?)
–>The cast moves from inside a hotel, to outside the hotel, to a bus pickup/dock (depends on stage size, again), to a boat (or some such other mode of transportation) and a patio/dance floor. The floor would have to be kept a generally forgettable color – possibly the color of sand, even including the texture (much to the ire of the show following yours), on the outermost portions of the stage with a large mosaic-like drawing at the center. It’s supposed to crack, right? How does one accomplish that without actually cracking the floor in front of the audience. What if we did it all on platforms and had a ‘drop box’ portion of the floor dip (safely) to slightly below platform level and indicate a ‘crack?’ See – everything can be solvable with enough creativity (which comes with rest 😉 )
3. Buy-in from the Board of Directors and Play-reading committee
These are individuals who have spent many years watching trends come and go and this show is so trendy – it’s been running for years on and off Broadway and it’s one of those shows that doesn’t garner a lot of respect amongst serious dramatist. Why? It’s cheesy. An entire musical inspired, written and performed (almost) like a 70s music festival. It can be beautiful but it’s often overlooked as costly and sub-standard.
Did I succeed in plotting, blocking, and preparing this script? Check out my Boss Book on Mamma Mia!
‘Til next time.